Fresh leaves and flowers of Indian borage are highly admired for their distinct flavor and fragrance! Learn How to Grow Ajwain Plant at your home with ease!
Ajwain plant or Indian borage is a fleshy, perennial herb. Growing around 1-2 feet tall, its edible leaves are aromatic, and fleshy, covered with hair-like bristles. The plant bears a cluster of lilac flowers at the tip from summer till fall. These oregano flavored leaves and flowers both make a remarkable presence in tea and meat dishes. The rough-textured leaves are medicinal, treating various ailments including sore throats, cough, asthma, indigestion, stomach cramps. With so much on offer, you must grow it in your home too! Here’s all you need to know about How to Grow Ajwain Plant!
Botanical name: Plectranthus amboinicus
Other names: Indian borage, country borage, Cuban oregano, French thyme, Indian mint, Mexican mint, Soup mint
Note: The ajwain plant or Indian borage is sometimes confused with ajwain (Trachyspermum ammi) plant due to common names.
Check out our article on growing Kovakkai plant here
Ajwain Plant Propagation
The most convenient method of ajwain cultivation is through stem cutting. Snip off 5-6 inches long tip or branch from a mature plant. The cutting should contain several nodes. Dip the cutting into a rooting hormone and plant in the garden soil or container a few inches deep. Place it at a shaded location and keep the soil moist by watering thoroughly.
Purchase the seeds of Indian borage from a local seed supplier. You can sow them either in spring for getting summer flowering harvest or during the fall for spring harvest. Sow them, few inches deep. in the garden with well-amended soil or in the container with a potting mix and mist regularly. Keep the container in partial shade. The seeds will germinate within 7-10 days.
Growing Requirements for Ajwain Plant
Full sun to partial shade is favorable for ajwain plant. The true color of its leaves is jade green, but in absence of ample sunlight, they turn dark green shade. For indoors, this plant will be benefited from west to south-facing windows.
Indian borage appreciates slightly moist soil, but not soggy. Water it during the early morning or evening.
Anjeer plant prefers loose, well-aerated, and well-draining soil with a pH around 6-8. If growing in the garden, amend the soil fertility with compost or any organic matter. For pots, it is better to use a potting mix. You can make your own mix by mixing equal parts of compost or well-rotted manure, coarse sand, and peat moss.
Choose a pot that’s at least 12-inches deep and wide. Make sure the pot has at least one drainage hole at the bottom to let excess water skip.
Ajwain plant Care
Ajwain is not a heavy feeder but during springs, when it is attaining fresh growth, you can apply soluble, slow-release fertilizer with a 10-10-10 NPK ratio. The plant also gets benefits from the regular application of compost tea, cow dung manure, and dilute fish emulsion, once a month.
When the plant reaches at least 6-8 inches, trim the lengthy stems using sanitized shear. Also, deadhead flowers and remove broken and damaged leaves from the plant. Pruning makes the plant bushier and encourages fresh growth.
Mulch the plant base using shredded bark, grass clippings, or bark chips to prevent water loss from soil and to keep the temperature even.
When growing it in a garden, the plant may require support, as the stems start leaning down when they attain maturity.
Pests and Diseases
Ajwain is generally not damaged by pests and cabbage worms, in fact, it deters them away. But it can be susceptible to aphids, and bug attacks, so you can use a neem oil spray. And, don’t forget to remove infected parts immediately.
Harvesting and Storage
Both flower and leaves find culinary uses in the kitchen and are available for harvest after 6-7 weeks. During spring and summer, you can snip off fresh leaves, before they start to develop bristly hairs, using scissors. The flower can be hand-picked when they are opening. You can use leaves and flowers fresh in cooking or making tea. Avoid storing them for later consumption.